According to a statement from Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), reports circulating on the internet about heating shutdowns in Russian prisons have been denied. The FSIN asserts that all penal institutions are functioning normally, maintaining the legally prescribed temperature norms.
This denial comes in response to claims made by Olga Romanova, the head of Russia Behind Bars. Romanova alleged that authorities were deliberately turning off heating in prisons amidst sub-zero temperatures.
She suggested that this tactic was being used to make conditions in the prisons unbearable, compelling inmates to agree to join the fighting in Ukraine.
Furthermore, Romanova pointed out that prisoners, ethnic minorities, and recent Russian citizens are often viewed with little sympathy by the general Russian public. She argued that as long as these groups are the ones primarily engaged in the conflict in Ukraine, President Putin can maintain an illusion of normality for the rest of the population.
These contrasting statements highlight the complexities and controversies surrounding Russia's tactics in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, particularly in terms of recruitment and treatment of certain groups within the Russian society.